The influence of children on family purchasing : capturing children's voices
Coupled with the outcome focus, although the important role of children within family purchasing has been acknowledged, many researchers have neglected to include children directly as respondents. Taken together, these conceptual and methodological issues highlighted the need for in-depth qualitative research exploring family purchasing. The research aimed to explore the nature of child influence in terms of children’s role within the family purchase process, the influence behaviour adopted by children, and their role in aspects of the purchase process such as communications. The methods adopted included the collection of bibliographic data, an in-depth interview with parents and children separately, and the completion of a decision mapping tool, followed by a family interview. The research revealed a number of important findings. An overarching theme concerned the complexity of family purchase decision making. There were multiple patterns of decision making found which reflect the numerous factors that impact on and influence this important purchasing unit. Critically, factors other than product were seen to have a key impact on child influence. The children in all of the respondent families were found to have direct influence over the purchases discussed. Rather than living up to the ‘pester power’ stereotype commonly portrayed in the media, the children demonstrated a range of sophisticated behaviours, underpinned by the use of knowledge and information. The children also played an active role within family purchase communication.